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6.8.15 US Nonprofit News

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News about grants, gifts

TheDream.US has issued a challenge to philanthropists: contribute to the national scholarship fund, TheDream.US, and help fund scholarships for at least 5,000 undocumented immigrants with DACA status by raising more than $30 million. To kick off the “I’m In” campaign, TheDream.US’ co-founder and former Washington Post publisher Donald E. Graham and The Pershing Square Foundation, co-founded by Bill Ackman, founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, have each pledged $15 million to provide DREAMers the opportunity to pursue their educational goals. Their new $30 million gift will provide 1,200 additional DREAMers with a $25,000 scholarship that will enable them to obtain a bachelor’s degree at any of TheDream.US national partner colleges. This pledge is in addition to their previous commitments of $10 million each.

Evanston Community Foundation

Evanston Community Foundation

The Evanston Community Foundation (ECF) awarded responsive grants totaling nearly $290,000 on May 27, in response to community needs and opportunities at the 2015 Grant Awards Celebration. For more information visit www.evanstonforever.org.

Overstock.com, Inc. and its customers have donated over $2 million to Wounded Warrior Project(R) (WWP) since 2009, through the Overstock.com online shopping website as well as direct donations by the company. The WWP purpose is to raise awareness in order to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, their caregivers and families, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP has served over 50,000 veterans by nurturing their minds, bodies and encouraging economic empowerment and engagement.

Ceannate Corp announced that its employees have raised more than $40,000 for members of the Nepal community affected by earthquakes that struck the nation on April 25 and May 12. All monies raised by employees were matched dollar-for-dollar by the Company and have been donated to various non-profit organizations engaged in relief efforts including the American Red CrossKaruna-Shechen, and Kids of Kathmandu.

Artist Trust is pleased to announce Deborah Faye Lawrence as the 2015 Irving and Yvonne Twining Humber Award recipient. Lawrence will receive $10,000 for her creative excellence, professional accomplishment, and continuing dedication to the visual arts discipline.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) announced today that The Pershing Square Foundation (PSF) has awarded the institution $10 million to support its leading biology and genetics research and education programs. The uniquely structured grant reflects a commitment by The Pershing Square Foundation to support exceptional leadership and innovative organizations that are catalyzing change in their respective industries.

The Board of the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation recently approved $2,129,215 in grants to community partners working in blight removal, arts programming, basic needs and more.

News about people, groups

The TreadRight Foundation, a not-for-profit initiative supported by The Travel Corporation’s family of brands, is proud to announce that it has named Celine Cousteau as TreadRight Ambassador. In her role as TreadRight Ambassador, Cousteau will assist in communicating the TreadRight mission while telling the stories of the many sustainability project partners TreadRight helps to support around the world, including its efforts to support global artisans through the TreadRight Heritage Initiative, and its work to stem rhino poaching through the TreadRight Wildlife Initiative.

Eric Newton, a global leader in championing transformational digital innovation in the news media as an executive of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is joining Arizona State University as the innovation chief of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Newton will work closely with the school’s leadership to drive new, cutting-edge ideas and initiatives at Cronkite News, the school’s multiplatform daily news operation.

America’s Promise Alliance named two new vice presidents to its senior leadership team as the organization moves into the final quarter of its GradNation campaign, a national movement to reach a 90 percent high school graduation rate by 2020. Stefanie Weiss brings experience from Points of Light, Experience Corps and Encore.org, the University of Maryland, and the National Education Association to her new role as vice president of communications and knowledge management. Rick Cruz brings experience from the Education and Youth Practice at FSG, a mission-driven consulting firm for leaders in search of large-scale social change, Teach for America, and DC Prep Public Charter Schools to his new role as vice president of mission advancement.

Former Islamic Scholarship Fund (ISF) recipients, Masih Fouladi and Iman Zawahry are joining the ISF team as Development Manager and Director of Film Grant, respectively.

RMHC®-CNI and The Chicago Police Sergeants’ Association celebrate the dedication of the William A. Burns Legacy Giving Wall on the rooftop healing garden at the Ronald McDonald House® near Lurie Children’s. The William A. Burns Legacy Giving Society was established to provide planned endowment opportunities and to recognize individuals who have made an estate or bequest gift to the Charity. The Burns Legacy Giving Society was named in honor of retired and deceased Chicago Police Department Sergeant William Burns who, in his passing, specified that his estate support the good work of RMHC-CNI.

The Vera Institute of Justice Annual Gala brought together more than 300 people to help celebrate and support Vera’s work to seize an unprecedented opportunity to reshape our criminal justice system. They are pleased to announce that they raised more than $700,000 towards their goal of $750,000.

Michelle Sanchez

Michelle Sanchez

The Chester County Fund for Women and Girls is pleased to welcome its new Director of Programs, Michelle Legaspi Sanchez, to the staff. Michelle Legaspi Sanchez joins the Chester County Fund for Women and Girls as Director of Programs where she is responsible for the planning and implementation of the Fund’s grantmaking and non-grantmaking activities as well as programming that focuses on priorities for women and girls.

American River Bank, a subsidiary of American River Bankshares, announced that its employees volunteered over 1,900 hours of community service in 2014, benefitting numerous organizations in the Bank’s service area, which include: Sacramento, Placer, Amador and Sonoma counties. The announcement is accompanied by the release of American River Bank’s 2014 Community Giving Report – Bankers with Heart.

As the final bell nears at schools across America, millions of children await the joys of summer.  But for millions more, that closing bell brings uncertainty about when and where their next meal will come from.  According to No Kid Hungry, of the 22 million kids who receive a free or reduced-price lunch during the school year, only 17.5 percent receive proper nourishment during the summer months. This summer, the Arby’s Foundation is helping at-risk kids get the meals they need to succeed by providing more than 10 million meals through a series of local initiatives and a national awareness campaign.

More than 400 active and retired entertainment industry members came together on May 27, 2015 to celebrate National Senior Health & Fitness Day with MPTF (Motion Picture & Television Fund), a charitable organization that provides financial assistance, services and innovative programs essential to the wellbeing of the entertainment community. MPTF’s 40-acre Wasserman Campus in Woodland Hills set the stage for a day of promoting the importance of health and wellness through education, entertainment, a sit-down luncheon, and engaging speakers—all in the spirit of community.

The Justice at Stake Board of Directors announced today that Bert Brandenburg, Justice at Stake’s executive director since 2004, will leave the organization in mid-August to become president of Appleseed, a national network of public interest law centers.  Liz Seaton, an attorney and Justice at Stake’s deputy executive director, will become interim executive director of Justice at Stake (JAS) later this summer.  Appleseed is a longtime JAS partner organization.

Inter-Faith Council for Social Service’s (IFC) current Executive Director John Dorward will retire this September after 13 years of dedicated service. IFC is holding a community interview session for the three IFC Executive Director finalists on June 11; IFC asks that the public be a part of choosing the new Executive Director. The new ED will be on board by the time they cut the ribbon on the new IFC at SECU Community House on September 21.

News about opportunities, initiatives

Heroes for Children, a unique non-profit organization that provides social and financial assistance to families whose child is battling cancer, has joined Ellen DeGeneres’ #JustKeepDancing social media challenge to help spread awareness of children who are battling cancer. Participants are asked to upload a video to social media showcasing their best dance moves while challenging three other friends to bust a move. For each video uploaded to social media containing the hashtags #JustKeepDancing and #HeroesForChildren an anonymous donor will donate one dollar to Heroes for Children.

Buzz Art Auction showcases original works by the world’s top street and graffiti artists. Proceeds from their June 12th auction will benefit the Miami Children’s Health Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida. Hosted by the Shelborne Wyndham Grand South Beach, the event will feature bites by celebrity chef Morimoto and specialty cocktail bars by Bombay Sapphire. Guests can also enjoy live entertainment and in-house street painting.

Andre's at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino

Andre’s at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino

Dine like it’s 1980. Andre’s Restaurant & Lounge at Monte Carlo throws this year’s Las Vegas Restaurant Week menu back 35 years to pay homage to Chef André Rochat’s milestone. Created exclusively to benefit Three Square Food Bank, the multi-course, prix-fixe menu will be available June 15 through 26, priced at $50.15* per person. A portion of each meal sold during Restaurant Week will be donated to Three Square to help in its fight to end hunger in Southern Nevada. This year also marks André’s ninth consecutive year participating in Restaurant Week.

Box announced that the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), the first humane society established in North America, is bringing Box’s cloud content sharing and collaboration platform to its employees. The ASPCA chose Box as their primary platform to centralize content management and security as well as to enable mobile access to information. The ASPCA joins 3,000 nonprofits that have adopted the Box platform through Box.org, an initiative the company launched one year ago to empower global nonprofits to achieve their missions and deliver lasting social impact through better use of technology.

The Summer 2015 cohort of PENCIL Fellows–200 public high school juniors and seniors from all five boroughs–are completing 30+ hours of career skills training and garnering press attention while doing it. School is winding down and summer is gearing up for our PENCIL Fellows, many of whom still need an internship placement for this summer. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to sponsor and mentor a PENCIL Fellow today. They are ready to gain valuable work experience to continue their path to college and career success.

At 7PM on Friday, June 19 law enforcement officials from the University of Maryland Department of Public Safety (UMPD), Prince Georgeʼs County Police Department (PGPD), and Maryland-National Capital Park Police will team up with local youth for a basketball tournament at the College Park Community Center as the feature event for the Centerʼs popular Extreme Teens program. The first game will feature community youth playing alongside police officers on mixed teams.

The Screen Actors Guild Foundation announced Sofia Vergara will receive the inaugural Actors Inspiration Award, to be presented at its 6th Annual Los Angeles Golf Classic on Monday, June 8th. As part of the SAG Foundation’s 30thanniversary celebration, they are launching the honor to recognize Vergara as a SAG-AFTRA member who has given back to fellow actors and the community at large. In addition, the Modern Family star has a long history of supporting nonprofits and children’s organizations, including St. Jude and her foundation in her home country of Colombia.

Stand with The Audre Lorde Project as they march for the 11th Annual Trans Day of Action on June 26th. If you would like to support, they ask that you fill out a volunteer form and attend Cultural Werk Nights to help with Trans Day of Action Prep!


If you are interested in having your organization’s news announced in the next News Bits, please send announcements or press releases to news@philanthropyjournal.org.